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03
Nov
2016

Massive DDoS Attacks Shake The Internet Globally

by Bill

The digital world was shaken by the largest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in history, as hackers sent as much as 1.2 Terabits per second of data at the DYN network, knocking down several major website domains including Twitter for an extended period of time. The attack started at approximately 7:00AM on 10/21/16 and originated from an Internet of things (IoT) botnet cobbled together from many thousands of devices including cameras, thermostats, printers, computers and just about anything else with a Wi-Fi connection.

Scott Hilton, the Executive Vice President of Products at Dyn, explained in a written statement online that “Early observations of the TCP attack volume from a few of our data centers indicate packet flow bursts 40 to 50 times higher than normal. This magnitude does not take into account a significant portion of traffic that never reached Dyn due to our own mitigation efforts, as well as the mitigation of upstream providers.”

The problem with DDoS attacks is one that has grown more significant as the proliferation of unsecured internet-capable devices continues to gain momentum. Every time a new wave of seemingly innocuous items hits the market and consumers begin unwitting adding items that are easy to hack as new failure points for digital security, the size and speed of DDoS assaults becomes more severe.

At NationalNet we strive to protect our clients from all kinds of attacks and hacks. While no measure of security is entirely bulletproof, it is absolutely true that having mitigation procedures in place prior to the start of an attack is infinitely better than scrambling to successfully halt an attack after one starts. Please contact us any time you think your sites may be the target of an attack, and proactively get in touch with our experienced staff to discuss other ways to improve your preparedness for the unfortunate eventuality of downtime caused by everything from terrorism to state sponsored hacks and amateur script-kiddies seeing to damage your business online.

As Thomas Jefferson once said: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

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30
Oct
2016

Nothing is Scarier Than Hosting Downtime

by Bill

As Halloween approaches, your neighborhood is sure to be filled with good-natured ghosts, goblins and witches seeking candy with a knock at your door. Anyone doing business online understands that those monsters are nothing to fear when you compare them to the possibility of experiencing downtime for your sites online.

“We wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy Halloween online and offline,” said Bill VanVorst, President of NationalNet. “We hope you enjoy the festivities and family fun that this time of year brings. As always, our staff of technicians will be here on high alert, protecting your business from the kinds of scary monsters that lurk in the darkest corners of the Internet waiting to strike with the award winning 24/7/365 support that all of our dedicated server collocation clients have come to expect from us.”

If you are tired of the tricks ‘discount hosts’ play on you time and again, you can experience the real treat of having properly trained professionals providing you with fully managed hosting by contacting us today for a free quote to see how NationalNet service quickly becomes an important asset for all of your brands.

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18
Oct
2016

Yahoo Adds Insult To Injury With Government Spy Program Acquiesce

by Bill

As the NationalNet Blog reported recently, Yahoo email was hacked with one of the largest data leaks in history, potentially revealing important user information to nefarious entities presently believed to be backed by foreign governments. While a hack is possible no matter how much effort Yahoo put into their online security, the latest news is much more damaging to their company because it involves complicit acquiescence with a government spy program targeting Yahoo Email users

An investigation has discovered that Yahoo knowingly provided access to all of its user emails so that US government entities could perform keyword searches in an effort to spy on US citizens who were never served with any kind of warrant. This new Yahoo story reveals the lengths to which the company will go to conform to government requests, which is very different from the stance Apple and Google have taken, forcing the government into court when asked for access to their platforms

Last year, Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer agreed to create custom software which would scan all Yahoo e-mails for a certain string of characters specified by the government of the US who asked them to implement such a program. The company implemented the program on all e-mails, in real time. They didn’t necessarily disclose this information either.

This is notable because it’s the first time (that we know about) that a company has agreed to do such a thing. Yes the NSA has been surveilling people for years in a similar manner but that data was captured by them using other methods. No one knows if this request was also sent to other e-mail providers and if they have decided to comply with the request as well. In addition, no one knows if the string of data has ever been found and what it’s implications, or even what the message is about. However, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google and have all denied that they are allowing this type of scanning to occur.

While we can’t ever know the full extent of surveillance occurring, it’s more important than ever to use good hosting to cover yourself when it comes not only to your website and web properties but also to your email servers as well. NationalNet is consistently one of the most trusted providers of internet services such as this, and we are on the job 24/7/365 and we do not allow any access to your private servers without your prior consent.

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05
Oct
2016

US Government Prepares For Move of DNS Oversight to International Third Party

by Bill

Since the inception of the Internet, the United States Government has been responsible for governing the root structure of the entire digital platform. This seems like a good idea to some, especially among those who are concerned with espionage and American digital security interests, but it also makes the most important technological invention of the last century subject to the political whims of one nation, and puts tremendous pressure on widely accepted principles like Net Neutrality.

Now that paradigm is changing fundamentally as the US prepares to hand over their oversight responsibility of DNS (domain name system) to a third party group made up of international consultants who believe this is the right option in order to maintain ultimate freedom on the world wide web.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), fulfills the very important duty of translating domain names into IP addresses and back again. In reality, they have already been managing this function for about a year, but it was only under a contract with the National Telecommunication and Information Administration. After a long legal and political squabble in Congress, the US government is officially handing over the keys. Many groups around the country and the world agree that this move is great, because it will prevent any one country from having too much control over the internet. However, some American politicians worry that this could have grave effects for the national security of the United States.

Some are worried that this will put the internet into the hands of countries that we are not so friendly terms with, but experts assure these politicians that the internet is a decentralized commodity, which can’t be truly owned or controlled by any one nation, and this move solidifies that ideal. Others also worried that the actual handoff would cause technological problems, however, since you’re reading this, it clearly went off without a hitch and now the internet is one step closer to being an even more free place.

In an era of multinational cooperation and globalization, the shared management of the fundamental communication system used by the entire world appears to be a peaceful step toward greater international unity. It also highlights the importance of data security, and competent IT management for companies and countries interested in keeping their own sites free from attacks or negligent oversight. As always, National Net is here to help with any hosting and colocation needs your business faces, and we look forward to working with you in this new era by providing the same high level of service we have provided for our clients throughout the period of US oversight.

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27
Sep
2016

Largest Global Hack Ever Includes 500M Yahoo Users

by Bill

There have been a slew of pretty big hacks in recent years which have left user information exposed to the public or at least to the hackers. The most recent one and perhaps the largest breach to date happened over at Yahoo. The scary thing is that it actually happened back in 2014 but the company only just released the information that this happened. In the hack, more than 500 million accounts were broken into, and the hackers stole valuable data. The reason the information is coming out now is because the company believes that the attack may have been state sponsored, from another country.

The data included in the hack may have included names, birthdays, and even the security questions people have used to set up their Yahoo Accounts. There may have also been phone numbers and addresses included which is also troubling. While people these days have pretty much become used to hacks and attacks being part of everyday life, this one is a bit different seeing as it could be seen as a bit of terrorism from another place on the globe. As a result of the hacks Yahoo is advising people who have not changed their password since 2014 to change it as soon as possible. Those who use it’s different services – even Flickr – may be affected.

The FBI says it is on the claims ever since a hacker known as Peace was allegedly selling the data on the dark web. Due to this most recent hack which affects about half of Yahoo’s 1 billion users, you can easily see how important it is to have a hosting company on your side who has security in mind.

National Net is always on watch to protect our servers and your customer data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and 366 in a leap year. Your security is our top priority and we do everything we can to prevent hacks like this from happening to your online properties.Even as hacks become more persistent, it is imperative that security professionals remain vigilant, because while all hacks can not be prevented, there is a lot to be said for simply being harder to hack than another alternative target online.

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08
Sep
2016

Does Your Host Treat Your Sites Like A Matter of National Security?

by Bill

These can be stressful times when it comes to web security, as evidenced by recent reports that the FBI is now investigating potential security breaches by foreign hackers seeking to fraudulently influence the upcoming election results.

It’s clear that data security is quickly becoming a challenge with serious consequences for governments and companies alike, and there is always a need for managed hosting that treats your site’s security with at least the same level of scrutiny the US government applies to digital matters of national security. Various law enforcement agencies and public institutions are investigating the possibility that the Russian government is trying to inject the country with certain feelings, which would result in distrust in the upcoming presidential election and the political institutions overall. Whichever side of the aisle you fall on, everyone can agree fair and accurate elections are an important goal.

It’s quite an interesting investigation because law enforcement agencies are investigating the “cyber tools” and hacking methods which could be used, and seeing if they have been used yet. With intelligence hobbyists saying they have proof that the Russians are tampering with things in the cyber world, a senior intelligence officer told the Washington Post that even the idea or insinuation that someone is tampering with the US elections process is a very dire situation that must be fully investigated, and stopped, if that’s what is really going on. Even if the Russian’s desire isn’t to sway the election in a certain direction, the chaos any interference could cause might be harmful to the country’s delicate political situation.

You can rest assured here at National Net, your site’s security is as important to us as the national security of our nation’s elections. We do our best each day with all the tools and service available to make sure that your site stays as safe as possible for you and your end users during each connection or transaction.

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25
Aug
2016

Harmful Hacking Tools Released to the Public

by Bill

Recently, some hackers in a group known as the Shadow Brokers, who had broken into NSA sites released some powerful hacking tools that were developed by the NSA themselves. The release came with instructions and tips for how to use these tools. Now anyone who has a basic understanding of how to use these hacking tools can hack a lot more effectively.

One security researcher at NYU wanted to see if people were even using these hacks, and the results he found were somewhat scary. He set up a lure which had one of the problems exposed by the release, a vulnerability in Cisco technology, and then let it sit out there. By the time a day has passed there had already been hacking attempts, and there have been some every day since then.

The interesting portion of the problem is that typically, when vulnerabilities are discovered by a business or exterior researcher, it is able to be fixed because everyone knows about it. However, the NSA had been holding on to these vulnerabilities which puts hackers in a unique position at this point to get into places they are not supposed to be before companies have a chance to shore up their security. Even if the companies create a fix, users will still have to implement it, which may take even longer, leaving clients and users vulnerable.

This is why is it more important than ever to go with a hosting company like National Net that puts security first. As you can see we have our ear to the ground when it comes to security news and our techs are working hard to ensure our clients utmost privacy and security. If you value those attributes, then you will likely be happy with the secure hosting services National Net provides.

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15
Aug
2016

Critical Security Vulnerability With TCP Found And Fixed

by Bill

Researchers recently discovered a critical bug that affected more than 96% of the websites in existence right now, and left them vulnerable to attack. What’s ironic is that the bug was actually created when computer scientists tried to fix another bug, but ended up leaving this giant vulnerability open to attack. Fortunately, this huge vulnerability has now been repaired, but it does make one wonder what other protocols were at risk and how much data was accessible to hackers via this industry standard hacking opportunity prior to the patch.

The vulnerability allowed hackers and attackers to intercept data if two terminals were communicating with each other using TCP (transmission control protocol), a fundamental connection method of all digital communication on the internet. A hacker could terminate any TCP connection and inject their own data into the stream to perform attacks. Some also worried that this could have affected those using anonymous TOR browsing, and have breached their veil of anonymity, but TOR engineers assured users that this was not so. However, the thought of such a widespread bug that could affect nearly every single website out there is quite scary to many. What remains even scarier are the many hosts and site owners who are too slow to apply security patches even after vulnerabilities are repaired globally.

With data security in mind, it’s more important than ever to use secure hosting provided by reputable collocating hosting providers like National Net. Safety and security is number one on our list of priorities, which is why our data center has 24/7 on site security, and why we offer advanced monitoring of our servers 24 hours each day, 7 days every week, and implement security patches within moments of their creation and acceptance from reputable sources. There is no panacea for data loss, but vigilance is the key to keeping your data safe as humanly possible and our technicians are always on call to do all we can to keep your data available only to those you intend to access it.

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04
Aug
2016

Virtual Reality May Be More About Productivity Than Entertainment

by Bill

A recent article on Motherboard describes a full day working in one of the first VR offices. Rather than extolling the virtues of being able to turn your head to track a target in a VR air-to-air combat game, the article’s author Aaron Frank discusses the impact of being able to have dozens of virtual screens floating in front of you as a game changing way to view desktop data.

“Recently, I had the opportunity to try one of these systems” explained Mr. Frank. “A product made by the Bellevue Washington based startup Envelop VR. Their platform runs any Windows application—Microsoft Office, Spotify, Chrome browsers, whatever—all inside VR.”

The article focuses on the increased productivity of sitting in an office where the screens, software, environment and apps can all be seamlessly interchanged with a couple clicks. However, what this new era appears to be ushering in, of even more importance, is a complete obviation of the distinction between being a ‘remote’ employee and an ‘in house employee.’ Of course many technical fields and trades will never be replaced by VR, a hosting server technician needs to be able to physically touch a broken device in order to repair or replace it – but for many careers, virtually being on site will soon be identical to actually being in the office.

Rather than worrying what time a remote employee actually starts working each day, managers will be able to see them and talk to them as they virtually walk into work almost exactly the same way they do now. Sharing a cup of coffee around the office water cooler will be possible without ever getting up from your seat.

Conference rooms are already better optimized by virtual reality than they ever could be with antiquated laser pointers, slide shows on a physical screen or clunky tabletop telephony systems. The same way many of us now prefer to play a board game on an iPad rather than with physical pieces, and the millennial generation has adapted to intimate interactions via mobile devices with emojis, the work environment is quickly trending toward remote VR access as well.

Decades ago computing was made popular as a new form of entertainment, over time it also completely replaced the way business was done. These days people rarely write with a pen, fax machines are defunct, most people don’t carry cash, and calls are far less frequent than digital tickets, emails or texts. In the coming decades you can expect the apparatus of business to be replaced again, with contact lens VR portals that connect every member of the office staff to each other from anywhere, as if they are all sitting in the same room together.

It’s an exciting, and somewhat overwhelming idea, that will require improvements of enormous magnitude in terms of data security and reliable connectivity. National Net will continue doing our part to provide the kind of fundamental collocated and managed hosting services necessary to support these new evolutions of the business world, with the exact same focus on customer service that has allowed us to prosper in previous eras of global commerce moved here.

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26
Jul
2016

Web Security More Important than Ever with Latest DNC Hack

by Bill

Regardless of what side you’re on in the US political game, anyone who has anything on the internet, or who has ever bought anything on the internet, should be concerned about the implications of the latest large hack. It revealed about 20,000 e-mails sent between members of the Democratic National Committee, which included the personal financial information of some people who donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign. The actual hack happened over a month before the information was leaked.

On June 14th the Washington Post reported that “Russian” hackers had infiltrated the DNC database to find the information they had collected about Donald Trump. However, the threat was noticed much earlier than that, way back in April, when a security firm discovered two spies on the network, which were linked to Russia. It was later on revealed that the hacker was none other than Guccifer 2.0, a noted hacker.

With Guccifer 2.0 starting to release the documents on a WordPress website, some information got leaked before the big Wikileaks event happened, which is where the large cache of e-mails got released. The information in the leaks is somewhat damning, and suggests that the DNC favored Hillary over Bernie, when they were supposed to have been impartial. Whatever you believe or whoever you support, the hack and subsequent release of information just proves how important it is to go with a good hosting provider who will be able to protect you against security intrusions.

That’s why we here at National Net always provide the best services possible with high levels of security for our customers. We want to protect you from whoever may be trying to gain access to your information, whether it’s the Russians, Guccifer or your next door neighbor. NationalNet takes extraordinary care to protect you from those who want to spy, or worse, those who want to use your information against you.

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